I’m grateful for all the pollinators. I haven’t even cracked the manual for the new camera, and the current lens won’t give me the crystal clarity of the macro lens on the old camera, but I’ll get there eventually. Meanwhile, playing around with it this morning I caught a few pollinators doing their thing. Imagine where we’d be without them! So grateful for pollinators, and the fruits of their labors.
I’m grateful for the 4000 species of native bees in North America, and the dozens that forage and nest in my yarden. They’re responsible for pollinating about three-quarters of all our food plants, but their very existence is not well known to the general public. I didn’t know about them until I started raising and photographing honeybees, and paying attention to all the other pollinators I discovered through my camera lens. There aren’t nearly as many individual bees or bee species in the garden this summer, making me cherish them all the more. You can learn to identify and plant for native bees with the Wild Bee ID app put out by the Center for Food Safety, and enjoy some of my better photos while you’re at it.
My seed heart got thumping the other day when I finally listened to an interview I’d bookmarked weeks earlier. At the end, I went right to the High Desert Seed website, and bought a ton of seeds. I was going to spend money somewhere on seeds, and have been perusing several catalogs since they started arriving in deep winter, promising sensory delights to come in summer. Looking forward from the cold, dark, hibernating season. But I’ve been so busy practicing staying in the present moment that I hadn’t gotten too far into the catalogs when I heard this interview. Passionate seed farmer Laura Parker grows seeds right across the canyon (the big canyon) in the high desert foothills of the San Juan Mountains. Her seeds should be supremely adapted to my garden’s climate. I ordered one packet of everything she mentioned in the interview, and then some.
Pauite Gold Tepary Bean (Bush, Dry) Scarlet Keeper Carrot Navdanya Eggplant Calendula Mix Sunset Mix Snapdragon Paper Moon Flower (Scabiosa) Mentawai Marigold Population Aztec Sunset (Zinnia) Lilliput Zinnia High Desert Quinoa Orach – Red n’ Green True Siberian Kale Jericho Lettuce (Cos/Romaine) Yugoslavian Red Lettuce (Butterhead) Italian Mountain Basil Fernleaf Dill Toothache Plant (Spilanthes) Giant Musselburg Leek Bronze D’ Amposta Onion Sugar Ann (Dwarf, snap) Prescott Fond Blanc Cantaloupe Sirenevyi (Sweet Pepper) Koszorú Paprika (Hot) Chimayó Chili Cocozelle Squash (Zucchini) Waltham Butternut Squash Verde Tomatillo Striped Roman Tomato (Roma) Pomodoro Pizzutello Di Paceco (Paste / Slicer) Maritza Rose Tomato (Slicer) Sweet Orange II (Cherry Tomato) Helios Radish Dark Green Italian Parsley Santo Cilantro Yukina Savoy (Asian Green) Grandma’s Sweet Pea Mix Vorgebirgstrauben Cucumber Spring Raab (Broccoli Raab) Rattlesnake Bean (Pole/snap)
I’ll make room for them all, and still have plenty to trade. I’m grateful for a local supplier of regionally adapted, organic seeds for all reasons.
I told my garden buddy Max that today’s gratitude practice was seeds. She thinks I’m so good with words, but I can’t say it better than she did: You could do forever and a day on seeds and all that they mean—promise, hope, faith, etc etc. I’m grateful for her confidence in me, and her inspiration. Indeed, promise, hope, faith, change, growth, spontaneity, resilience, regeneration, self-sufficiency, and so many ramifications of each of these qualities. Seeds are our future, literally and metaphorically. Each thought, word, and deed plants some sort of seed that will ripen in the future. We can plant seeds of desire and greed, fear and hatred, or we can plant seeds of promise, hope, and faith in our daily lives. Like picking seeds from a catalog, we get to choose which seeds we want to plant. Whatever seeds we water with our attention will be the seeds that grow. We can nourish healthy seeds, or nurture weeds in our lives, but we can only choose which if we can discern the difference.
I’m grateful for garden seeds and seed catalogs, for the years of learning through cyclical experience how to grow what here in the high desert, for having a garden and the means to seed, water, feed and harvest it. I’m grateful for the seeds that grow throughout the yard and the little wild mouths they feed. I’m grateful to live in a community in which everyone I know values gardening and almost all of them grow something, grateful to grow at least some of my own food, grateful to talk and trade seeds (and their fruits) with neighbors, season after season. I’m grateful to still be eating today the fruits of last year’s garden seeds: pickles, tomato sauces, salsas, pestos, dried and frozen produce. I’m grateful for the optimism to purchase and plant seeds again this spring, and pray I’ll live to harvest their bounty, enjoy, and repeat, year after year for many years to come. And I know that I may not wake tomorrow. I’m grateful for each day on this beautiful, generous planet.